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Comment: Re:Don't conflate the prequels... (Score 1) 141

by quantaman (#49383459) Attached to: Why More 'Star Wars' Actors Don't Become Stars

... with the originals. The prequels were shit which is why people had a hard time getting a job.

That statement makes almost no sense. Of the actors from the original series, how many went on to become well know actors? Basically you have Harrison Ford and James Earl Jones.

Given that the cast was relatively unknown to being with how many well known actors do you expect?

If anything it's an indication that if you throw a dozen reasonable actors into a major movie then one of them will turn out to be star.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 261

by quantaman (#49377253) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

There will always be stooges in any movement

Well, the opposition to the Korean war — as I outlined from the get-go — never rose to anywhere the same pitch. Not while the war was running, not later. Soldiers returning from Vietnam war were "baby-killers", but those who came back from Korea were not. The "peace-movement" being infested by stooges is a confirmed theory that explains all of the known facts. It may be difficult for you to accept, probably, because you and/or your parents participated — without knowing, who got the ball rolling, of course, being sincere useful idiots — but that's what it is.

Yeah, I'm Canadian and I'm quite certain neither of my parents really participated in the peace movement. I would point to this fact as evidence to the fact that you're over-extrapolating from limited data and reaching erroneous conclusions.

The currently-existing "disaster" was not at all inevitable

All I can say is I consider Marc Theissen to be a terrible analyst, though going into that would be a needless diversion.

and it did not become a disaster for any of the reasons known at the time.of those coordinated protests.

I'm confused, why did you link to quotes of people supporting the war as evidence that the opponents were wrong?

Well, you may not like Michael Savage, but he certainly is not "a fringe"... And the already mentioned Justin Raimondo has his loyal following.

I don't know, I think I'd still call Savage as being on the fringe. Sure he's got a following but he's so far out that he can't even enter the UK.

There you go! NATO was meant to check USSR's advancement further into Europe — without it more countries would've shared the fate of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and others. Because while NATO membership was voluntary, membership of the Warsaw Pact was not. And the Pact invaded those, who tried to get out. What's "unclean" about NATO, I'll never know.

Remember the Cuban missile crisis? The US isn't particularly amendable to countries in its sphere of influence allying with Russia either.

And as you just said NATO was meant to counter the USSR (ie Russia), of course they're going to react with hostility when neighbouring countries start joining a military alliance literally designed to oppose them.

Huh? If they weren't NATO-members, Baltic states would've been taken over by the same "polite" troops long ago. Moldova and Georgia were invaded before Ukraine.

Though Georgia was invaded while trying to join NATO. And the initial situations with South Ossetia and Transitivia happened in the fairly messy aftermath of the collapse of the USSR. My understanding is that the NATO expansion was interpreted by Russians as an aggressive act, and that's been responsible for the subsequent rejection of Western liberalism and the return to an adversarial mindset.

But, it is interesting... So, in your peace-loving opinion, NATO should've rejected Eastern Europe's attempts to join it to please Russia... Just how do you justify this? What sort of ethical standards do you have? What books did momma read to you? Should the wisest of the Three Pigs have rejected his brothers' attempts to hide in his masonry house — so as not to aggravate the Wolf? Wow!

I can see why they wanted to join, the problem is the moment they got in Russia started looking at ways to keep other nations like Georgia and Ukraine out. And you weren't going to get everyone in because a lot of countries weren't stable enough for NATO, and even if you did a Russia entirely surrounded with NATO members is going to be very hostile and might start looking at ways to test Article 5. Do you really think the US is going to declare war on Russia if Putin starts using this same playbook in Latvia?

Honestly I think the proper solution was a local defensive alliance, maybe one centred by a Nuclear armed Ukraine. Russia was willing to declare war on Georgia, would they be willing to declare war on Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, and a bunch of other countries all at once? I think that would have had a lot more teeth than NATO, and wouldn't have looked like a US power grab after the USSR collapsed.

Again remember many grew up in the USSR, people are going to naturally defend their side.

I grew up in the USSR too, you insensitive clod.

I'm not saying everyone born in the USSR will defend it, but they're going to have strong emotions that aren't always rational. I'm half ethnically Ukrainian and I have a very difficult time keeping my emotions in check even though I haven't even had an ancestor there in 100 years.

Point is, their propaganda works — Obama's lukewarm response to Putin's bona-fide textbook evil is evidence of it. It took him months to authorize "non-lethal" supplies (blankets, tents, rations) for Ukraine's defendants. And even today things like helmets and body-armor are still not authorized.

Because he and his people aren't paying attention. Either that, or — which is the same thing — they know, their electoral base is not paying attention.

Obama's response had nothing to do with Russian propaganda, it was the fact that he really had no other choice.

What was Obama's alternative? He couldn't make the sanctions much tougher without the EU's agreement, supplying lethal weapons could easily make Russia even more aggressive since the Ukraine army has no chance against a real Russian invasion. An actual US military intervention might have stopped Putin, but Russia has far more skin in the game and Putin might not be able to pull back even if he wanted to, you could literally be looking at WWIII.

Honestly I don't know if the US can do anything. My personal thought on the best plan right now is some country like Canada tells Putin "you can take Mariupol, but if you do we'll defend the rest of Ukraine with military force and get the rest of the west to fill it with enough money to turn it into West Germany". It puts a major price on Mariupol and a non-Nuclear Western power with a strong military is a far more a credible deterrent than a Nuclear power who's afraid of things escalating.

Hell, if I was in Ukraine there's a decent chance I'd sign up and start fighting, but I really don't know what Obama can do without risking a literal apocalypse.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 261

by quantaman (#49376079) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

You're not overestimating the enemy's impact, you're accusing your ideological opponents of being stooges.

The links I've posted by now confirm beyond reasonable doubt, that they (or some of them, anyway) are, in fact, stooges. That's a settled question. Just how many — that's a problem of (under/over)estimation.

There will always be stooges in any movement, suggesting that delegitimizes the movement is a completely different standard,

a) People expect a lot more of the US than Russia

Khm, it does not seem like many people think, Russia is doing anything wrong.

I have no idea what people you're thinking of. Outside of Russian I've only encountered a very small handful who supported Russia, and they wrote and argued so badly I actually felt bad engaging since I thought they were dealing with legitimate mental illnesses.

b) by invading Iraq it helps legitimize things like Ukraine

Your Bush-blaming fails. Putin's number one justification (at least within Russia) was not Iraq, but Kosovo — for over a year now Russians online are arguing, that if it was Ok for the US to run a referendum there, it is Ok for Russia to run one in Crimea. (That, unlike Americans in Kosovo, Russian occupiers of Crimea had an obvious conflict-of-interest seems to have escaped their attention.)

Kosovo is the big justification (because of their traditional alliance with the Serbs) but Iraq is certainly part of the narrative. And I only brought up Iraq because you explicitly mentioned it as an example of a protest movement that didn't have proper justification. As it turns out it was actually a very well informed protest movement as the invasion of Iraq was by any metric a disaster.

Greece in particular might have a legitimate problem

Greece is an EU-member and can break the union's consensus-driven foreign policy.

One of the things that makes it a real problem

in the English speaking West Russian propaganda is a joke.

It is good, you've kept a level head, but I've already given you a number of links to English-speaking opinion-makers, who were affected by KremlinTV.

Fringe opinion-makers whom I'd never heard of. I don't think they're really affecting anything.

Another aspect you are ignoring is the Russian-diaspora living in the West. They still watch nostalgic movies on Russian channels and the propaganda "analysis" in between. Then, when asked about current events by their non-Russian peers, they help spread Putin's point of view.

I don't know many so I can't really speak to it but I doubt many are actually backing the invasion. It's also probably that their opinions have nothing to do with the propaganda, they're still Russian, they'll have a strong urge to identify with and defend their home country.

It should be noted that the West's hands aren't completely clean in this. NATO was started as an anti-Russia alliance, expanding into former Warsaw pact countries after the end of the Cold War was absolutely moronic. Without that expansion there's a decent chance that everyone is still on relatively good terms.

I just came back from Germany — both in Munich and Frankfurt there are pro-Putin signs on the walls and fences. His support there is mostly among Socialists, but those assholes are a considerable power there — and Merkel has to defend herself from their sniping.

Putin's evil is, indeed, obvious to those paying attention, but there are too few of those in the comfortable West today — the others' short attention spans can be easily swayed by his propaganda efforts.

Again remember many grew up in the USSR, people are going to naturally defend their side. If Putin started threatening Germany they'd almost certainly switch sides. But in a fight between Russia and Ukraine many will be drawn to defend the entity they identify more with from their youth.

Comment: Re:Echo chamber (Score 1) 352

by quantaman (#49368595) Attached to: Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina Near Launching Presidential Bid

What sort of echo chamber does this woman live in to think she's got a good record as a manager to run on? Romney at least made real money and ran a real state government. Fiorina started lots of pissing contests, got booted by the shareholders for loosing money and assets, and lost a senate (not even governor's) race. Wow.

Unless she's running for VP.

It wouldn't be that hard for her to make a little noise in the primaries given she could be the only female (certainly the only establishment female).

Then if Hillary wins the nomination the Republicans are going to want a female or minority to stick in the VP slot. Right now that means Marco Rubio or Ben Carson but there's lots of reasons a nominee might not want one or both. In that case Fiorina might be the only option who isn't a white male, it's still a long shot but a VP nomination is far from impossible.

Comment: Re:Tired of Consensus = Fact (Score 1) 425

by quantaman (#49367691) Attached to: Experts: Aim of 2 Degrees Climate Goal Insufficient

These stories are tiring as there is no chance for "settled science fact" in climate change.

All of these estimates are based on elaborate math models and yet the Earth's long term climate ON ITS OWN, has swung widely over recorded history.

And from the geologic history, we know we will again go into another ice age based on the history of the change in the Earth-Sun orbit & precession changes on a regular 110,000 year cycle. And without human intervention, the ice age ends.

I know. Same thing with species. Earth's history is littered with mass extinctions, the switchover to oxygen in the Precambrian, the Permian-Triassic extinction event, the dinosaurs dying at the end of the Jurassic. Who's to say the current mass extinction has anything to do with humans, maybe the Passenger Pigeon's died on their own? And that cool forest where I grew up, forest's go away all the time, who's to say it had anything to do with the new suburb.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 261

by quantaman (#49358813) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

So just because the USSR tried to manipulate the peace movement therefore delegitimizes the entire peace movement?

No, not entire — there were sincere pacifists even during WW2 — and not automatically. We need to painfully examine, to what extent the peace movement was compromised by involvement of both USSR and domestic terrorists. You may suspect me of overestimating the enemy's impact, but you are certainly underestimating it.

You're not overestimating the enemy's impact, you're accusing your ideological opponents of being stooges. I'm certain you're not nearly as concerned by the propaganda put out by those who agree with you.

When the US was about to resume shooting in Iraq in 2003, the whole world erupted in the biggest coordinated protest in history — and not by Iraqis, but by outraged Westerners expressing their sympathy.. Where were these peace-loving legions, when Putin invaded Ukraine in 2014? What few protests there were, they were largely by Ukrainian expats with very few sympathetic locals in evidence. Why?

Because:
a) People expect a lot more of the US than Russia
b) The US sets international standards, and by invading Iraq it helps legitimize things like Ukraine
c) The US is a Western country, it makes a lot of sense for Westerners to protest it because they have a chance of influencing the politicians. What the hell does Russia care if a bunch of Americans or Canadians come out in protest? And what should Canadians and Americans even protest for, we don't have a lot of leverage.

Because Putin's propaganda machine worked — on the entire spectrum of Western politics, not just the Left as the USSR used to. Rightist Jews in the US were accusing Ukraine's new "junta" of being "nazis", while actual American Nazis called the new government "Jews". Without arguing with each other, but both helped Putin. Most likely, they didn't realize it — but there is no doubt, a there is a group of analysts at FSB attached to each Western opinion-maker. US is a pathetic noob at this.

Wake up and smell "people's power" — and the power of propagandists to manipulate it.

It didn't do squat. Yes there's a few fringe folks who are influenced, but they're pretty insubstantial.

In the EU it might be different, Greece in particular might have a legitimate problem, but in the English speaking West Russian propaganda is a joke.

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 1) 261

by quantaman (#49357249) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

You're talking about the public perception of the war, UN approval forms part of that public perception.

UN's approval or lack thereof, by all appearances, was used to justify the opposition to war later, when the questions like mine here started popping up. I could find no references to UN's decision (or absence of it) as a factor. Could you?

I'm not mining quotes from 60 years ago but it certainly would have affected the perception. Korean was very much a multinational mission, Vietnam was not.

It's possible, but a far more likely factor is the fact they were very different wars at very different times.

Well, I explained, how they were similar — only a few years apart and both in far lands without evident immediate threat to the US.

The Korean war was over in 3 years. In Vietnam the US stepped into a long running conflict which ran a lot longer.

I fail to see, how the length of a conflict affects the justification of it.

Wars become more unpopular the longer they go, that's fairly basic. The public wasn't particularly anti-War at the start of the war, it became that way later on (similar to Iraq).

You've also got media actually showing the home front what the battlefield actually looks like, that's a pretty profound change from previously where media pieces were basically clips from war movies.

Yes. And the fact that media at home chose to concentrate on the negative, instead of praising the troops in general and heralding acts of valor in particular is, in my opinion, explained by (at least, in part) by the enemy's propaganda efforts.

That would be a pretty small part. The moment the media came to the conclusion they could be actual reporters instead of propagandists the friendly propaganda effort was done.

Finally you had a completely different culture in the 60's that was largely based on a rejection of authority

And where, one wonders, did that come from?

From stuff that didn't have much to do with the USSR (though many were undoubtedly interested in leftist ideas).

And where is it now, when questioning authority is not only not patriotic, but racist?

It's only racist when the complainers start blowing dog whistles. As it happens referring to Obama as a community organizer, a job he held for 3 years in his mid-twenties before going onto far more impressive things. That could be just partisan bias, but there's a definite dog whistle quality to it.

You don't need Soviet propaganda to explain the Vietnam peace movement

Well, we know for a fact (an inconvenient one), that USSR and other Communists were behind at least some of the "peace" organizations, such as the venerable World Peace Council.

The practice is still ongoing — an establishment calling itself "anti-war", for example, is calling for international approval of Russia's invasion into and annexation of Crimea — do you think, they would've approved of Kosovo or Kurdistan voting to become a United States' 51st state? Is it really over-the-board to wonder, if, perhaps, this Justin Raimondo is manipulated by Kremlin — whether he even knows it or not?

So just because the USSR tried to manipulate the peace movement therefore delegitimizes the entire peace movement? And an 'anti-war' organization that virtually no one on the left listens to or agrees with is evidence of that fact?

Israel is certainly trying to sway US public opinion, does that make you a puppet of some Jewish lobby? (for the record I say no)

Comment: Re:How propaganda decides wars (Score 2) 261

by quantaman (#49355405) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

Compare our invasion of Korea with that of Vietnam only a few years later. Before you say "Korea was UN-approved" — no, that's a lame excuse. Stalin boycotted UN at the time action on Korea was decided, but by the time of Vietnam USSR has changed its approach. That's all.

So what? You're talking about the public perception of the war, UN approval forms part of that public perception.

In both cases American military was sent to fight in remote lands against people, who didn't threaten America directly in any way — for fear of the domino effect of Communism. In both cases the fighting was heavy and numerous war-crimes have taken place.

And yet, there was no domestic opposition to the Korean war — virtually none. No protests against the draft, no accusations of returning soldiers being "baby-killers". John Kerry, for example, has gained more political capital for opposing the war (and returning his medals), than for fighting in it (for an entire 4 months).

Vietnam was widely considered a national shame long before the war was lost. Meanwhile the only source of any negativity about the Korean war in mass culture was the M*A*S*H series.

Why was the domestic reaction to the two wars so drastically different? The theory of propagandists controlled and funded (with or without their own knowledge) by the USSR would explain the known facts.

It's possible, but a far more likely factor is the fact they were very different wars at very different times.

The Korean war was over in 3 years. In Vietnam the US stepped into a long running conflict which ran a lot longer.

The US was also coming straight out of WWII, so the idea that you should deal with belligerent countries pro-actively sounded like a really good idea and provided a great narrative, the communist threat would have also seemed less intractable since you didn't have to deal with Nuclear arms race.

You've also got media actually showing the home front what the battlefield actually looks like, that's a pretty profound change from previously where media pieces were basically clips from war movies.

Finally you had a completely different culture in the 60's that was largely based on a rejection of authority, do you think that was going to mix well with the military?

You don't need Soviet propaganda to explain the Vietnam peace movement, the known facts are explained by the known facts.

Comment: Re:BBC not to blame here, Clarkson is (Score 1) 660

by quantaman (#49348497) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Evidence seems to indicate it for one. If he's such a horrible person, why is that he self reported the incident? Somebody who is horrible enough that simply being around them is enough to "goad" them, doesn't seem like the sort that would later take a step back and go "hmmm, that was really stupid of me. I should notify that this event happened". They'd more likely not see any issue with what they did and just carry on.

It could also be that they he it would get reported anyway and wanted to get his version in first, he may have even thought they were in the right.

When I heard of this my thought was of Jion Ghomeshi, a CBC radio host who is being charged with multiple sexual assaults for a long pattern of behaviour. Before things broke the thing that got him fired was him showing a video to management with the belief that it would clear him, instead management realized the stuff on the video was sexual assault and fired him.

Comment: Re:BBC not to blame here, Clarkson is (Score 1) 660

by quantaman (#49345867) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Are you familiar with the term "The straw that broke the camels back"? It is tied to the notion that one seemingly insignificant event caused a catastrophic result. The BBC and the producers had been riding him for a very long time about being "proper" so as not to offend certain groups. This ran counter to what made him so entertaining. He spoke his mind and said what a lot of us would say if we weren't forced to be proper in mixed company. I didn't agree with half the things he said but I usually found what he said to be humorous. None of us know what transpired in the exchange between Clarkson and the producer but I suspect the producer had been goading him prior to this encounter and Clarkson simply snapped. Clarkson's no saint but he's also not petty and I choose to believe there was something deeper going on that led up to this.

Or the person outspoken and abrasive television was even more outspoken and abrasive in person, why assume producer had it coming at all? With the right kind of people you "goad" them simply by being around them long enough.

It doesn't matter if they're the star of a show or an executive, if you break the rules there's consequences.

Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 1) 573

by quantaman (#49317401) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

You misremember.

Southern Democrats were more pro civil rights than Southern Republicans, and Northern Democrats were more pro civil rights than Northern Republicans. But Southern Democrats were opposed to civil rights as compared to Northern Republicans, and since there were a lot of Southern Democrats there were a lot of anti-civil rights Democrats.

No, this is false. In fact, during the Civil Rights movement, the majority of those in congress who voted in favor of reforms were Republicans.

I can't speak to all the civil rights legislation, but as to the civil rights act itself you just ignored my entire point (and you were still wrong). Look at the vote totals:

        Southern Democrats: 7–87 (7–93%)
        Southern Republicans: 0–10 (0–100%)

        Northern Democrats: 145–9 (94–6%)
        Northern Republicans: 138–24 (85–15%)

Being a libertarian myself, I agree with that viewpoint, but it has nothing to do with racism. If I owned a business, I wouldn't deny service over race. But I would deny it to a gangbanger who comes in with baggy clothes hanging so low that you can see the brown stains on his whitey tighties.

Of course that has nothing to do with the era in question. If that person was white they'd probably get the service, but if they were black no matter how dignified they were they'd be denied service (or at least forced to wait behind the white person for service). Even if the owner themselves wasn't racist they'd have to discriminate or the prominent white folk in the community would single them out.

How do you approach that issue as a libertarian? Community groups forcing business owners to discriminate if they want to stay in business.

However, the three presidential elections afterwards, none of the southern electorates went to Republicans. The first for that to happen (other than goldwater) was Richard Nixon, who took basically the entire nation (including left wing havens New York and California.)

You might want to read this, which consults several historians and has sources:

http://freeplanetickettonorthk...

That article doesn't really disprove my point. No one claims that every Dixiecrat changed their party registration overnight, people are incredibly reluctant to change political identity and the first ones to do so will be the new ones entering the system. And I don't care about Goldwater as an anecdote, but if you were voting against civil rights for racist reasons (either personal or political) wouldn't you couch your vote in some better principal?

But to claim it has nothing to do with civil rights and racism is to be incredibly obtuse. The change started with the civil rights act, the south still has a lot of racism and civil rights issues, and the Republican party still has a lot of issues with civil rights and racism.

Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 1) 573

by quantaman (#49312297) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

Can we talk about how the right endlessly defended slavery?

Take John C. Calhoun [wikipedia.org]: "he became a greater proponent of states' rights, limited government, nullification and free trade".

What does this have to do with today's right?

It's relevant since there's still a lot of racism on the right and even some who defend slavery as something that wasn't so bad.

John C Calhoun was part of the same party that Obama is now part of. And no, the parties didn't switch spectrum, rather all of them have changed their stances on certain subjects. Remember it was still the Democrats that were largely opposed to civil rights during the 50's and 60's (for example, it was a Democrat governor who called in the national guard to keep black students out of Central High School in Arkansas.)

You misremember.

Southern Democrats were more pro civil rights than Southern Republicans, and Northern Democrats were more pro civil rights than Northern Republicans. But Southern Democrats were opposed to civil rights as compared to Northern Republicans, and since there were a lot of Southern Democrats there were a lot of anti-civil rights Democrats.

The Democratic party chose to make a stand on civil rights, since then the South has belonged to Republicans.

The biggest change a lot of people refer to happened during the 80's under the Raegan. Prior to Raegan, Democrats were staunchly opposed to communism (Kennedy and Johnson for example) and somehow the modern Democrat party moved away from that hard line stance

We're apparently talking about different Democratic parties.

Comment: Re:Completely bad idea (Score 2) 1089

by quantaman (#49298527) Attached to: Obama: Maybe It's Time For Mandatory Voting In US

Mandatory voting is a hugely bad idea:

1) It goes against freedom

Living in a Democracy comes with some responsibilities, mandatory voting is one I'm comfortable with (you can still cast a protest vote/spoil a ballot).

2) It encourages people to vote who have no idea (or less idea) what the issues are. This brings poorer choices and dilutes the votes of those who DO know what the issues are.

The people who come out to vote now aren't informed as much as they are rabid partisans. Get everyone involved and the knowledge will tick up.

3) It encourages people to vote who apparently have no interest in the issues.

That's a wonderful idea. The last person I want voting is rabid partisans who thinks their candidate losing means the end of the world. You know why McCain chose Palin? Because they figured she could motivate the base. She did that brilliantly but it really took a staggering amount of extremism and incompetence on her part to become a hindrance to the campaign. In a mandatory system you'd never let a representative like her anywhere near the campaign.

What we desperately need is the introduction of some form of preferential voting like instant runoff voting (and possibly the end of the electoral college). THAT would make a HUGE and PRODUCTIVE change in ways that really matter. We could then be free of being locked into a two-party race where both parties essentially suck. People could vote for who they want without fear they are throwing their vote away or fear of allowing someone they don't like getting elected because they didn't vote for the lesser of two evils.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
http://www.fairvote.org/reform...

I think that would be cool but I don't think it's the cause of your voting woes. A preferential system inserted into the current US system would simply mean more chaos and an electorate who has no idea who's doing what.

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